In the summer of 1929 Spencer took a break from work on the Sandham Memorial Chapel in Burghclere and returned to Cookham. He and Hilda took lodgings in Cookham High Street for several weeks and the artist painted the present view from the junction of the High Street with Cookham Moor. Another picture The Tarry Stone, Cookham (1929, private collection), painted at this time, is the same view from the other end of the village.
The implied position of the artist is not without its significance: 'Spencer used the locations around Cookham like a library; drawing on the familiar juxtapositions of natural and man-made landscape' (F. McCarthy, Stanley Spencer An English Vision, from the exhibition catalogue, The British Council, 1997-1998, p. 7). During the short holiday in Cookham the artist met Patricia Preece in the village tea shop; she and her companion had taken a house on the edge of Cookham Moor. The relationship was to coincide with the breakdown of Spencer's marriage to Hilda (see note to lot 21). It is possible to see therefore that the present view is heavy with Spencer's iconography; the lush and vibrantly coloured roads which fill the picture plane converge at the foot of the War Memorial, already established by the artist as Cookham's altar of love, the artist using a very domestic landscape to express extremely personal feelings.